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Is it really important to understand different cultures?
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Posted on Mon, May 16, 2005 13:14

Why is it important to understand the differences in cultures of the world; or conversely, why it is not all that important?

Is it MORE important to promote good values and good character worldwide, with more tolerance for other cultures, religion, etc. than spending time and money on culture education?

Are some individuals, religions, and cultures just looking for a excuse to get angry, or create a crisis? Which?

Or, any other discussion about cultures worldwide.



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Posted on Sun, Jul 08, 2012 10:43

i agree with you, you made a good point.  the world wouldnt be interesting if we all behaved the same.  They wouldnt be anything to talk about.  Its a good thing we are all different.



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Posted on Sun, Dec 25, 2011 18:08

I BELIEVE THAT IF MORE PEOPLE WOULD EVEN TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENT CULTURES WE WOULD NOT HAVE TO FIGHT SO MUCH FOR WORLD PEACE. TO KNOWING IT IS TO UNDERSTANDING IT AND TO UNDERSTANDING IT IS TO RESPECTING THEIR WAYS AND RESPECTING THEIR PEOPLE AS WE ASK OF OTHER CULTURS WHEN THE AMERICANS ARE BEING LEARNED BUY ANOTHER CULTURE.



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Posted on Sat, Jul 09, 2011 06:36

If you don't care to know about other cultures that is fine of course. Just make sure that you don't believe in any false information about them, though.

So think about all of the stereotypes that you have about Irishmen, Italians, Mexicans, Brits, Poles, Arabs etc. If you choose to believe any of these then you have a problem and you can't pretend that you don't need to study other cultures to become a better person.



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Posted on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 08:07

I believe that a deep understanding of other cultures and their histories is fundamental for a greater sense of world peace. It's not that I disparage western civilization, but so often we push our cultural values and norms on others without regard to how it will affect the other society. And, moreover, many expect other countries (or those from other countries) to behave as we do. My best friend when I was young was muslim, and she preferred to wear her hijaab to school. So many girls told her she was 'downtrodden' and called her family terrible things. Few seemed to understand that for her, wearing her hijaab was a matter of modesty. Just as few women will walk around outside stark naked, so she would not be comfortable leaving the house without covering her hair.

I think to push a global norm will ultimately mean pushing a western norm. We, as industrialized wealthy nations, seem to be prone to believing our system the best, the most moral. As a fan of moral relativism, I tend to disagree.



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Posted on Sat, Sep 05, 2009 21:16

bump



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Posted on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 09:49

interesting...I rather take an active interest in others becuse my word extends further tan my own backyard...I think understanding is the way to a safer future fr everyone when people take the time to see outside themselves and realize that there not the ony ones here...people tend to asume there way is the only right way, tat to me is sad becouse others do things othr ways and get along just fine...mabye better? depends on your values...difference is the spice of life those who arent even curious dissapoint me.



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Posted on Fri, Feb 23, 2007 09:07

Well, in Texas we have to let the wagons and horses go first. Then the yankees have to clean up the mess they left. It's the law. Rodeo season is starting soon, so there are a lot of trail riders starting their ride, (and lots of busy yankees).

lololol

for pictures, search the net for this text and you should see a few.

"The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo turns 75 this year, which means many, many photographs of the annual event are in our archives. We've pulled some of our favorites for a gallery.



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Posted on Sun, Nov 05, 2006 23:11

sharp1 write:
I'll have to take another trip! lol

In Italy they have STOP signs just as we do, written in English. Most Italians don't speak English, let alone write it. That would explain why they all drive thru them. They don't even pause. I think the STOP signs were put there for the benefit of unsuspecting North American drivers. But we drive thru them too, because we're doing as the locals do! LOL

Re:





Well, that sounds like a plan! More travel!

South Florida is like Italy, not to say that no one here speak English rather that no one stops at stop signs. It is like they do not exist! In Seattle, one could wait at a 4-way stop intersection for oh, 10 minutes because everyone is so polite and wants to make sure the first person who arrives goes first. lol



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Posted on Sun, Nov 05, 2006 13:54

I'll have to take another trip! lol

In Italy they have STOP signs just as we do, written in English. Most Italians don't speak English, let alone write it. That would explain why they all drive thru them. They don't even pause. I think the STOP signs were put there for the benefit of unsuspecting North American drivers. But we drive thru them too, because we're doing as the locals do! LOL



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Posted on Sun, Nov 05, 2006 13:45

wwww1234 write:
If the birth rates are somewhat equal, you still could have a lot more men that women on the islands if more women left and more of the men stayed.

Re:





True, but that wouldn't explain the gender reidentification at birth.



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Posted on Sat, Nov 04, 2006 22:26

You know I always think one of the best ways to find out about other cultures is through the food. Except for in North America it is a time when the whole family gathers, talks and I find that most, even when poor, want to share meals with others. I've been lucky enough to be invited into local homes when I've travelled and also helped prepare meals. I feel very honored when this occurs.

Your contrast between the Indians (SE Asian, correct?) and Fijians is very revealing about how wealth is perceived. We may think of it as property and possessions or the exchange of goods and money where in other cultures, it is family, health and happiness that are more important--a simple life, well-lived.

Reminds me of the Mexican fisherman and the US exec on the beach!

OK, what else?



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Posted on Sat, Nov 04, 2006 22:26

If the birth rates are somewhat equal, you still could have a lot more men that women on the islands if more women left and more of the men stayed.



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Posted on Sat, Nov 04, 2006 18:43

wwww1234 write:
With a population that young it looks most of them must leave after they are grown.

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That's a great point, DoubleU's. There is no way for current industry to support it's young people whether they are educated or not, so many have to leave. Happens in rural states in the US as well. In those states it is said that their biggest export is the state's young people and they are losing their most valuable commodity.



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Posted on Sat, Nov 04, 2006 11:35

TripleS...re: the fa'afines, this was something my daughter learned in Samoa while there for her school. She had conveyed this to me in Fiji, where I noticed that fa'afines were also there...very young, and adults.

In Fiji, I learned that there is alot of dissention between Fijians and the Indians who live in Fiji. The Indians came to Fiji years ago, settled, and have a monopoly all the business. I'm not sure, but I think the Indians might out number the Fijians in population now. The fact that Indians own majority of businesses in Fiji I think can be attributed to the Indians more astute businessmen than the Fijians who are very laid back, and content to farm. In Fijian villages, the wealth (which isn't much) is equally shared amongst each villager. They work as a community. A herd of cows does not belong to one individual in a village, but the entire village.

Also, Fijians like the Irish, celebrate ones death. They will spend a day gathering and purchasing whatever food they require to have enough to cook a feast that will feed everyone in their village. They will drink Kava...UGH!...horrible stuff...it's made from Kava root. The smash the root into a pulp, then add water stirring it around in a very large wooden bowl. It is a narcotic. So as beer will make people lively and talkative, Kava will make you quiet and relaxed. It tastes like bitter dirty muddy water! lol

Kava is also used in Fijian welcoming ceremonies when they greet their friends. You can ask for a 'low tide'...equal to about a mouthful; 'high tide' about a 1/2 cup; or 'tsunami' ... lol ... LOTS!!! Low tide was sufficient for me! lol

Walking thru the market was an incredible experience. All kinds of tropical fruits, and on the Friday, just before a major Indian holiday the next day...it was packed with people selling whole octopus, fish, clams, taro roots, etc. all around the outside of the market. Spices upstairs...dirt cheap. So good. It was interesting to walk around and see.



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Posted on Sat, Nov 04, 2006 04:45

wwww1234 write:
Why is it important to understand the differences in cultures of the world; or conversely, why it is not all that important?

Is it MORE important to promote good values and good character worldwide, with more tolerance for other cultures, religion, etc. than spending time and money on culture education?

Are some individuals, religions, and cultures just looking for a excuse to get angry, or create a crisis? Which?

Or, any other discussion about cultures worldwide.

Re:



I don't think it is really necessary to understand other cultures but it is important to know that other cultures and countries develop there opinion about your cutltures based on what is presented to them. What they read and see through various media sources..
Or what they are lead to believe through their parents and enviroment.

Which is kind of scary, since media consider murder/war/politicsspecial interest groups are more important than what is going on every day in most peoples lives.

I think it's important that people realize that when you meet someone from a different background/culture/country that you keep in mind, that you really are representing your own culture/country and how you would want others to view your culture/country.

I tend to just accpet people for who they and try not to judge based on my own values.



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Posted on Fri, Nov 03, 2006 09:32

Sharpie,

That's the general population number collected by the WHO (world health organization). Hardly seems that much a disparity where a gender "swap" would be necessary does it?

I wonder if your guide was in error? When quickly did some research, there are scholars refuting Mead's research. It's not a big country and tourism only became popular in the 70's.

I guess the point is that there are cultures that are more accepting, in this case, integrating differences rather than ostracizing them.

What else did you learn on your recent travels?



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Posted on Wed, Nov 01, 2006 13:25

TripleS...yes you are correct. They are called fa'affine. But from what I understand it is not the choice of the person to become a fa'affine. That decision is made my the Mother.
That is interesting about 104 males/100 females. I wonder if that is more in the urban areas, and in the rural areas if the difference becomes more significant. It was just my observation that in the 2 remote villages I visited I saw only a couple of girls, but lots of boys. Maybe they keep the girls hidden. It is interesting.



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Posted on Wed, Nov 01, 2006 06:52

With a population that young it looks most of them must leave after they are grown.



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Posted on Tue, Oct 31, 2006 06:41

I saw a program on this Du's and Sharp and from what I gathered, people who identified with the opposite sex could live that way within the confines of Samoan culture. Transgendered males are known as fa'affine and share in women's work roles (as is the culture, not my term). The whole concept is quite complex and would be difficult to discuss fully here.

I found this on the WHO website, which you may find interesting: In 2005, American Samoa had an estimated population of 65 500, with 50% residing in urban areas. Based on 2004 population estimates, around 40% of the population is below 15 years of age, while almost 4% is above 65 years. The average age is estimated at 21.3 years. Life expectancy at birth for men is estimated to be 72 years, while for women it is 80 years. Based on 2004 estimates, there are 104 males for every 100 females.



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